Modi 3.0: Expectations, challenges and opportunities ahead

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Modi 3.0: Expectations, challenges and opportunities ahead

Friday, 07 June 2024 | SHSHANK SAURAV

Modi 3.0: Expectations, challenges and opportunities ahead

The third term will test the mettle of PM Modi because he will be leading a coalition Government for the first time in his political career

The NDA led by PM Modi has registered a modest victory in the general election and it is a historic moment in our parliamentary democracy when a leader won three successive mandates. For record’s sake, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and Smt. Indira Gandhi also won three elections and formed the government but this charisma in India of the twenty-first century holds another significance because now our democracy is more mature and information is easily accessible to the masses. While a lot has already been talked about the pro-people measures taken by the NDA government that led to this victory, it is time to focus on what we should expect from Modi 3.0 because this term is going to define the legacy of PM Modi.

The electoral rebound of the Congress-led alliance should not be interpreted as a decline in the personal image of the prime minister. We are living in an era when the brand Modi is more popular than ever before and people are becoming public representatives with the backing of the PM, then he must use his aura and strength to promote clean politics. There are apprehensions that slowly our democracy will become an aristocracy where people from humble backgrounds will not find a place to stand. This is a phenomenon that we are seeing in South Asia where political representation is becoming like a hereditary lineage. I am not implying that those who are from humble backgrounds have no place in this set-up but it is increasingly becoming difficult for a common man to withstand the money & might of the established political players.

Rahul Gandhi’s ideas are a danger to this country and it was good for the country that the divisive agenda of the INDI alliance came out in the open. However, this country expects a lot from PM Modi. It was an open secret that this battle was fought in the name of Modi and he was the face of the campaign, irrespective of who is the candidate from his party. It would have been great had PM Modi used this opportunity to free our political set-up from the clutches of dynasts and turn-coats. Regional parties have long back become family-owned private limited companies but BJP always stood different from others when it came to politics of ideology and principles. It has more to do with the ideological influence of Sangh over BJP which sets the moral benchmark higher for BJP than other political parties.

This election was Waterloo for many regional parties and some have fared well while others have perished. Number game has put Modi and team in a position where they will have to negotiate with their allies and the bargain is going to be tough. The next government will also test the mettle of PM Modi because he will be leading a coalition government for the first time in his political career. Compulsions of coalition politics were one of the major reasons behind corruption during UPA2 led by Manmohan Singh.

Now BJP has a strong presence in the southern part of India and very soon it may become a dominant player there as well. Though BJP had formed a government in Karnataka on its own, Modi should be credited for transforming it into a Pan-Indian party. However, this election has also given strong signals on the revival of regional outfits. For example, Bihar has given a message that though the voters trust PM Modi BJP needs a strong local face. Creating a strong leadership line at the local level has yielded dividends in other States and it is high time to replicate this in States like Bihar. BJP central leadership should nurture youngsters who are aligned with the ideology and have competence. Many people are capable and want to enter politics but they are unable because they do not have the required means and connections.

Given that Modi might not get a free hand, another point that would need specific attention in Modi 3.0 will be the handling of the issues that are related to core ideology and cultural rejuvenation. We have seen over the past 10 years that nourishing our roots and development can happen simultaneously. Development is an ongoing process but civilizational damages are irreversible and we have witnessed this in our history. Many issues are in the realm of law and the BJP often rightly accuses Congress of these blunders. If the NDA government survives by 2029 then BJP will complete more than two decades in power since independence and Modi will become longest-serving PM after Jawaharlal Nehru. There are Himalayan blunders and historical injustices that can be annulled by the Act of Parliament and therefore it would be interesting to see how Modi 3.0 prioritises these.

(The writer is a Chartered Accountant and Public Policy Analyst; views are personal)

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